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FUN A DAY 2019 #16: Cecilia

I had actually seen her stop traffic, with my own two eyes, it wasn’t some corny, skeevy cliche with her. One could make the argument that motorists had stopped not for her beauty but more to avoid v more...

I had actually seen her stop traffic, with my own two eyes, it wasn’t some corny, skeevy cliche with her. One could make the argument that motorists had stopped not for her beauty but more to avoid vehicular manslaughter charges, and she knew this. She’d walked right out into Main Street on a hot spring day, and when I screeched, “What are you doing?!” from the curb she looked back at me over her shoulder and said, “They have to stop, what are they gonna do, hit us? Come on, already!” That was her, in brief: she might have seemed reckless, but really, she just knew that the trick was to be confident, and to make the universe look out for you by trusting it do so.
She also was strikingly beautiful, though, and knew that this was part of how she navigated the world, even if she sometimes didn’t seem to know the extent to which it had shaped her behaviors and expectations. She had light but bronzy, forever sun-kissed skin, bright blue eyes, a perfectly tiny nose, and a strong jawline and cheekbones. She was petite in stature, her tiny frame calling to mind a former gymnast or ballerina, a girl who had once worked toward a goal that had required her to remain as small as possible, and she learned to compensate for it as she got older by wearing the most expensive looking high-heeled boots, fabulous coats, and oversized sunglasses and pendants she could find in her local thrift stores. She wore her curly, dry, perpetually heat-damaged dark blonde hair straight as often as she could, and she would either pile it into a large, not-too-neat bun, or take the time to brush through it, bend over and flip it out, and then stand up quickly, run her hand through it, and somehow be left with exactly the right amount of volume, and finally ready to head out. She was consciously yet casually chic, exuding a sort of gamine, hippie glamour at all times.
Glamour felt like the right word for the way she seemed to effortlessly charm and intrigue people, despite doing very little that would have this effect. She was naturally very outgoing, and curious about people, what they did, and how they lived, and they seemed to respond to her beauty when she asked them about themselves. Her self-assurance was something that she somehow knew how to extend to her conversation partner, and she did so generously. She listened attentively, and knew how to step back and wait, how to let a person speak, and build their narrative, their own personal mythology, until it took up the same kind of space that hers did. She understood the value and power of carefully and thoughtfully learning to see yourself as the flawed but noble protagonist of your own story, and wanted everyone to have that power.
She knew herself and her closest confidants to be extraordinary, extraordinarily sensitive and conscientious beings, and so she was, we all were. As she understood it, we brought this to the world, and we made the world extraordinary, too. She was one of those people who chose to be fascinated by everything in the world (this might have been why we were friends, despite being very different in temperament), and wanted to know more about it. She was wise enough to not want to know everything about the world, which wasn’t possible. Even if you could know everything about the world, that would probably be a terrible burden to bear. She was fearless, and knew better than to be afraid of the world, or of knowing too much about it.
She did have her moments where she worried about this, though. It was the shadow side of her tempered but still exuberant adventurousness, of her own noble but flawed heroine, her ego, her belief that the world was good, despite all evidence to the contrary. She wasn’t afraid of The Unknown, or the unknowable (she loved mystery, believed every woman needed to have at least some of it), not in the way that her loved ones who admitted to being afraid of the unknown seemed to fear it. They seemed to worry about not being able to adapt to change, and not being able to survive situations for which they felt unprepared. She didn’t worry about adapting or surviving, she knew that she could do both of those things, she was thunderstruck by how well she did them. She was afraid of disappearing into the unknown, of how good it felt to shed the self, the life, and the family that she had lovingly built, of how independence felt like a drug to her. ...less

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  • 31min
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  • One year ago